Ivories from Nimrud VII

29 May 2013

Nimrud ivory (© Stuart Laidlaw)

The publication of Ivories from Nimrud (1949-1963) VII, Ivories from Rooms SW11/12 and T10 Fort Shalmaneser by Georgina Herrmann and Stuart Laidlaw will be celebrated with a special launch event at the British Academy.

Ivories from Nimrud VII - The Lost Art of the Phoenicians 

Fifty years have passed since the British School of Archaeology in Iraq raised the last ivory from the soil of Fort Shalmaneser. Literally thousands were found, many of which have already been published in Ivories from Nimrud I-V, while VI recorded the outstanding pieces from the North West Palace.

Ivories from Nimrud VII, Ivories from Rooms SW11/12 and T10 completes the publication of the assemblages in the Fort, as far as records permit. The ivories of Room SW11/12 are similar in character to those of Room SW37 and probably represent another consignment of booty, while those of T10 in the Throne Room block include pieces from all four traditions, as well as some entirely new ones.

Ivories from Nimrud (1949-1963) VII, 1 & 2 Ivories from Rooms SW11/12 and T10 Fort Shalmaneser by Georgina Herrmann and Stuart Laidlaw

With the primary publication completed, it is now possible to look at these remarkable ivories as a whole rather than studying them by provenance, as is discussed in detail in the Commentary. Not surprisingly, it immediately becomes apparent that the majority can be assigned to the Phoenician tradition. There are at least twice as many Phoenician ivories than the other Levantine and Assyrian ivories. They form therefore an incredible archive, recording the lost art of the Phoenicians, long famed as master craftsmen.

The latest volume, published in May 2013 by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (Gertrude Bell Memorial), presents a unique resource for studying the minor arts of the Levantine world. There will be a short talk by the authors at the event, while copies of the book will be on sale at a special launch event price of £60 (a 1/3 off the normal retail price).

Georgina Herrmann worked at UCL for many years and is now Emeritus Reader in Western Asiatic Archaeology while Stuart Laidlaw is currently a lecturer at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.



31 May 2013

Stuart Laidlaw speaking at the book launch event for the Nimrud VII ivories at the British Academy on 30 May 2013

The book launch for the Nimrud Ivories VII volumes was held at the British Academy in Carlton Terrace on 30 May at 6pm.

John Curtis, Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum and a member of the governing council of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, gave an opening address to this well attended meeting in which he highlighted the importance of this work in ivory studies. This was followed by a brief speech from Stuart Laidlaw in which he described the work involved in producing the photographic documentation of this large group of ivories. Georgina Herrmann then spoke about the various stylistic influences of the material and their probable provenance.

The talks concluded with closing remarks from Eleanor Robson the chair of BISI’s Council.

The gathered audience and speakers then retired to celebratory refreshments which gave everyone an opportunity to take a look at these impressive tomes.